Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Whirlwind Year In Review

It's been a WHIRLWIND of a year!!!

It all started in JANUARY...

We moved and took my oldest daughter out of Public school 10th grade and enrolled her into HOMESCHOOL. We joined our Umbrella School, notified the state and enrolled her in COMMUNITY COLLEGE full time. Also, she finished up some of her courses through online school.

Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly were moved to a Private Christian school that used Abeka curriculum.

MAY bought summer and we graduated my older daughter STAR CHASER from homeschool and she succussfully signed up to play Lacrosse at her Community College and was only 30 credits away from her 2 year degree.

JUNE we decided to homeschool Tiger Lilly and Speed Racer. I ordered their curriculum, joined more sites and to research curriculum.

JULY Tiger Lilly and Speed Racer started homeschool for 4th, 7th grade year and big sister, STAR CHASER helped administer their curriculum with Mom and Dad.

SEPTEMBER we realized Tiger Lilly should be moved up to 8th Grade and we started getting into our groove.

NOVEMBER Tiger Lilly and I found out about CLEP testing and prep and decided to pursue that for her high school curriculum.

DECEMBER we finished 103 of our boxed curriculum. We love it and will be using it next year since we all know it well.

Friday, December 6, 2013

This WEEK Flew By! Our 100 Days Of School.





You ever have one of those weeks where everything goes well?

100 DAYS OF SCHOOL DONE!!!


IS IT BECAUSE CHRISTMAS IS NEAR?

I think so.

My 7th GRADER, Tiger Lilly

Well I kicked her learning up a notch and we made some changes going into 3rd Quarter.

Hours of school a day: 6.5 hrs now (with 2-30 min breaks)

Changes:
Japanese: Finished up Japanese for the year
World History: Finished up for the year
Art Of Argument: Starting that after the holiday break
Humanities: Starting after the holiday
Time4Writing: Starting after the holiday
SOS English Lit and American Lit: Starting after the holiday
Java: Starting in Spring with YouthDigital.com

CLEP Test Review: Testing planned for over the summer
     Using InstantCert.com and SpeedyPrep for
      English Composition CLEP
      Analyzing Lit CLEP
      English Lit CLEP
      American Lit CLEP
      Humanities CLEP

Core Courses Unchanged:

Algebra 1 - Abeka DVD
Algebra 1 (Lab) - Teaching Textbooks
Geometry - Thinkwell with Holt book
Geometry (Lab) - Teaching Textbooks
Earth Science - Abeka DVD
English - Abeka DVD, Analytical Grammar, Sequential Spelling
Game Design 1 & 2 - Youth Digital
Speed Reading - ACE software


SPEED RACER, 4th Grade

He is hitting all A's and B's now. With the exception of Spelling, ugh!

Hours of school a day: 3hrs with 2-15 min breaks

I've added Spanish to his day.

Classes that stayed the same: Core subjects are Abeka DVD/Streaming with books

Bible
Arithmetic (Abeka DVD, xtramath.com and Teaching Textbooks)
Reading
Language Arts
Penmenship (Cursive writing)
History
Science
Spanish (I can read and speak in Spanish - book with dvd, and workbooks)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Meal Planning & Organizing for a Busy Working Mom

Yes, I have to admit, working outside the home has some benefits and drawbacks.

The benefit is, I get out of the house, and I get paid for it. The drawback is, I have to do everything I'd have to do for my family but in a shorter, MUCH shorter period of time. And when you throw homeschooling in there, you have the recipe for a hot mess!


Time seems to slip through my fingers. So....my secret weapon is...organization.


DINNER QUICK PRO PLAN

Oh, back in the day when I had a much smaller family and my husband worked from home, we didn't have much of a need for large dinners. We ate badly also. Now with my Hubs and I getting older, we have to eat better.

Here's my rundown of how to have dinner prepared for your family when you have little time to prepare it.

1) Buy meats in bulk.
2) Buy frozen veggies
3) Season bulk meat, separate into portions that satisfy your family size, place those season pieces in plastic freezer bags. If you want to get fancy you can lable the days on the bags.
4) Place a small frozen bag of veggies, peppers, seasonings, even your rice or potato wedges in the bags.
5) Sunday nights take out the bags for the days of the week you plan on making dinner. Put them in the freezer to thaw.
6) For Monday night dinner, make enough on Sunday night dinner to have leftovers.
7) Tue, Wed & Thursday, either cook the contents of your dinner bags (packed with seasoned meats, rice or potato mixes, peppers and veggies) in either a crockpot (place in there in the am), an oven or on top of the stove. *Note* if you want a marinade make sure you place it in the bag with the meat either as you are freezing it or thawing it.

Viola' you look like an amazing mom with dinner on the table after a hard day of work, but with very little effort.

CLEANING

Well this is the one place where I get a little less type 'A' because I just can't go stir crazy over it. But the kids have a chore chart. They follow it ... most times. Must do's are all the rooms on the first floor. So when I first come home or if someone pops over, the house isn't a complete mess.

- Clean common areas daily. Assign a kid or even dad the kitchen every night.
- Have a hiding spot for excess clothes and other items
- Do a full family cleaning day/morning on Saturdays where you take the clothes, items etc out of teh hiding place for excess, deep clean bathrooms, and bedrooms.


ORGANIZING KIDS SCHOOL ROOM

Yeah, well dinner's on the table, now we are talking about school. As a working mom, I realized I had to keep things simple for me and the kids. Gosh I'd love to sit down and create these elaborate educational plans for my kids, but I don't have the time.

School work - Find programs that are interactive, require little administering by teacher, but allows teacher control of the materials. This year we used a boxed set. It's working out wonderfully for us, although I've seen many rants about it online, it fit our home perfectly. And where I adjusted I've gotten similar tools that were computer based.

Work boxes - Yes, they work for older students. I love the Workbox system by Sue Patrick. It even works with my 7th grader (soon to be skipped to 9th grade work next year).

Efficient - Timers are the answer. I time the kids breaks and homework time. It keeps us on track and now we have less time sucking up with overly long breaks and long work days.

SO, WHAT'S YOUR SECRET FOR KEEPING YOUR HOME IN ORDER?
















Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving - Yes we are having school





Yep, it's that time of year. The time I don't even kid myself into trying to diet or eat healthy? Why? It won't happen.

So this week, the one week where many of my homeschooling friends are taking off from school.

WE ARE NOT

You heard me, I'm crazy enough to do school every day this week with the exception of Thanksgiving day.

Why? Well because we just spent a great week at Disney on vacation (just me and the younger 2 kids with a pop up visit from Hubba)

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

After that weeklong break (or somewhat of a break) where the kids and I went to the Disney Parks, watched the animals, and had fun....

We did makeup work. All the work that the kids didn't finish (ie missed homework assignments or test) they were able to finish those items.

I had them 'make up' the work to sort of teach the lesson that if you want to take off, you have to do your part and finish what you started.

AND ON

Now this week I'm having absolutely no problems with task getting done on time, even earlier than expected. So we will get through 4 days of school, then have TURKEY with the family.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Planning Forward Middle School to Graduation

My Umbrella Group encouraged me to sit down with my daughter and plan out a TENTATIVE curriculum for her through Graduation since I wanted her to be able to graduate by 17yrs as well as attend Community College.

Here's what we did.

ASK CHILD THREE THINGS THEY WANT TO BE 

Myself and Tiger Lilly sat down and she told me three careers she was interested in. (1) Veterinarian (2) Physical Therapist (3) Teacher (was changed to Engineer)

WHAT DO THEY WANT TO HAVE

Then I asked her what she wanted. We picked out cars, houses, a boat, and clothes.

BUDGET CHILD'S FUTURE

After she picked out and priced her new home, car, clothes and job income I walked her through the possible monthly budget and where she fell short.

Then she changed her career choices around. #3 became 'Engineer'

PLAN THE PATHWAY

After that, we went onto College websites and reviewed requirements to get in. My daughter didn't mind going to Community College for 2 years to be able to mature and add credits under her belt when she realized this little secret.

'Being a transfer student with an AA degree' opens doors. It takes away the requirement for an SAT or even a diploma. Also, it's much easier, cheaper to transfer to a prominent 4 year college with a degree than without.

Tiger Lilly 's Plan
7th Grade
8th Grade
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
English 7
English with Lit focus 
Classical Literature
Writing Essays & Writing for the SAT
Community College
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
Geometry
Pre-Calc
Community College
Physical Science
Biology
Chemistry
Physics

US History
World History
US History 11
US Government

Health
Spanish 1
Spanish 2
Micro-Biology OR Essential & Comprehensive  Anatomy & Physiology

Game Design 1 (Youth Digital)
Java 1 Program
Visual Basic 1Program
C# Program 1

Game Design 2 (Youth Digital)
Java 2 Program
Visual Basic 2Program
C# Program 2

 Typing
Music History
World Geography 
SAT Review

Bible
Art
Economics 
Adventure Novel (One Year Novel)



Other classes we are looking to add (Per my little lady's request)
Japanese
Painting
Logic * after mom's suggestion
Film making
Script Writing
Public Speaking
Sign Language
Study of Animal Life, mainly sealife
African American History
American Indian History

Cool deviations from regular books and texts
Movie Based (Netflix) curriculum
Blog building per subject using edublogs.net
Exploration and discovery field trips
Visual Exploration using pinterest boards that student builds
Interviews and Family Tree Building

The curriculum we used are:

www.abekaacademy.com
www.thinkwell.com
www.myteacher.com
www.homeschoolprogramming.com
www.oneyearnovel.com
www.rapidlearning.com
www.chalkdust.com
www.youthdigital.com
www.time4writing.com
www.seethelightshine.com
www.typingweb.com
www.mathwithoutborders.com

SO HAVE YOU AND YOUR KID PLANNED IT YET? The future awaits~!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Plan to Home School For High School


PLANNING HIGH SCHOOL FOR YOUR STUDENT

I've sat down and planned out the road map through high school and beyond with two of my kids. The road was different for my NON-HOMESCHOOLED kid and my HOMESCHOOLED kid only because the resources and freedom for each was different.

STEPS TO PLANNING HIGH SCHOOL with your HOMESCHOOLER

As a homeschooler, your child has many more opportunities to explore their path to college and beyond. But first you have to sit with THE STUDENT to work out a plan. Most kids have no idea what they want to be in 10 years much less next year. But there are ways to get them to start thinking about it. Let's face it, it is their lifves.

SIT WITH YOUR YOUNG PERSON AND WALK THROUGH THESE STEPS:

(1) Ask them, "What Kind Of Life Do You Want When You Grow Up?"
This includes: House, Car, Location where you want to live, spending money, clothes, student loans and 'toys', wife/husband and kids?
Activity: Have your child search the internet for all of the things above that they'd like to have in their life.
Outcome: Make a yearly and monthly budget for the items they've costed out on their list.

(2) Have them select 3 possible career paths that interests them.
This includes: Cost to obtain the stated career. Pathway to college, trade school, military, working way through, colleges of choice, training of choice.
Activity: Map out the cost to obtain specified careers, Yearly and Monthly incomes of each, Hidden Cost of each.
Outcome: Monthly and weekly paycheck minus taxes and health benefits cost.

(3) Compare Income of 3 different careers with Lifestyle Budget (monthly/yearly) of each.
This includes: Incomes of all chosen careers - base salary on the starting year salary of each career.
Activity: Have child remove 'wants' and 'rank' the career choices selected.
Outcome: Student should have an idea of what it takes to maintain a household, where their chosen career fits in.

(4) Mapping your way to chosen careers.
This includes: Making a 4 year course plan for the top 2 careers of choice. Have student select courses with you. Also, compare to possible colleges that meet your budgets and their requirements.
Activity: Build a table or grid, listing all the classes that would support success in (1) meeting state standards for graduation (2) meeting the needs of the chosen career paths (3) exploring other interest the child has.
Outcome: The student is now invested in the plan.

(5) Validate High School Course Plan.
This includes: Meeting with Community College counselors about benefits of 'Dual Credit' options and even gaining an Associates Degree in complementing fields prior to attending '4-year Universities'.
Activity: Have student interview both Community College counselors, Career Mentors and prospective college counselors - early in their high school years.
Outcome: This will make your high school years both fun and teach your student how to map their own way if they should change their minds.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MAP YOUR HIGH SCHOOLERS ROAD TO GRADUATION?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sliding into Second quarter!

 
 
 
We did it!!!!
 
80 Lessons into our curriculum (Abeka Academy DVD school)
 
and finishing up Mid-Term Exams! Woot!
 
 
7th GRADER - Tiger Lilly's week
 
She and I had to re-adjust her hectic schedule. We started studying for her English CLEP test she wants to take with her older siblings in the Spring.
 
We added the following to her English program as she plans to take the English related CLEPs
 
Abeka DVD (still main curriculum) (30 min)
SOS English Lit (20 min)
SOS American Lit (do after English Lit) (20 min)
Education-Portal.com (Analyzing Literature and English Composition) (20 min)
Analytical Grammar (takes 10 min)
Sequential Spelling (takes 10 min)
Speed Reading (takes 10 min)
 
 
To accommodate this we condensed the following to 1 or 2 days a week 
 
Biology
Art
History
Youth Digital (Game Design 2 - she finished Game Design 1)
 
CLEP test she's planning on taking next Summer: she picked these because she loves writing, reading, English and her siblings are studying for them.
 
Analyzing Literature
English Composition
English Literature
American Literature
 

4th Grade - Speed Racer's

We expanded his Spanish
Increased use of Xtramath.com
Started Art Co-op


REPORT CARDS coming next week

I'll be spending my weekend doing up their report cards and I'll be meeting with them about their grades and asking them how I can help them improve.

I want to use the report card as a communication tool between my kids and I. They get to tell mommy what they need and mommy listens.

It may cause schedule and subject adjustments but that's okay.

SCHOOL BREAK coming up!

Next week we leave for Disney and there will be no school for myself and my young ones. My Hubba and older kids will be at home and it's just the 3 of us, with a drop in from Hubba coming to visit.

DO YOU DO REPORT CARDS?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Creating your own Syllabus for Homeschooling Curriculum

Yeah, well, I used to teach at the state college. One of the things I was required to do was to create a syllabus for each course.


WHAT IS A SYLLABI

"Syllabi inform students about what is expected of them to meet course requirements and must be disseminated to students in all courses."

TAKING THE GUESS WORK OUT

The one thing I loved about College compared to high school is that in College - you know what you are expected to learn. Wow, to think they would repeat that in High School, even Elementary School would be great.

HERE's THE ONE I STARTED FOR MY PARENT TAUGHT COURSE


HISTORY101: African American History Course

 

(Revised: )

 

 

I.    Contact Information

 

Faculty
Name:                    Parent/Teacher

E-mail:                   (best method for contact)

Phone:                    (443) XXX-XXXX (5:00 PM - 8:00 PM)

                              

Note: Your instructor and if applicable TA, monitor email and online communications at least 4 times a week. In most cases, you should receive a response to your question within 48 hours.

 

II.   Course Information

 

Number:           HIST 101

Sequence:         HIST 101-Before and During Slavery, HIST 102-After Slavery         

Title:                African American History

Term:               Fall 2015                         

Time:               Monday 6 - 9:00 PM

Location:          Various Locations:

 
 




      Required Course Materials and Resources


Tool
Title
Author/Publisher
ISBN
Book
 
 
 
Book
 
 
 
DVDs
 
 
 
Web Sources
 
 
 
Project Sources
 
 
 

 

 

Course Description and Prerequisites
Prerequisites: Prerequisite: English 8th Grade

 

Course Goals/Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Recall major historical impacts to the African American race
  • Write a Narrative, Persuasive and Expository Essay on various historical topics pertaining to African American History
  • Research and plot Family Tree

 

      Cross-curricular initiatives

 

Cross-curricular initiatives
Activity in this class that fulfills the initiative
Writing
Communicate in various forms of writing from Essays, to Blog Post, to Presentation
Historical Perspective
Understanding the evolving growth of the African American race and their unique struggles to obtain that growth.

 

 

III. Schedule Information Classes are from July-May

 

Week
Date
Day and Topic
Reading Assignments or Video Assignments
1
June 4
 
 
2
June 11
 
 
3
June 18
 
 
4
June 25
 
 
5
July 2
 
 
6
July 9
 
 
7
July 16
 
 
8
July 23
 
 
9
July 30
 
 
10
Aug 6
 
 
11
Aug 13
 
 

 

 

IV.       Grading Information and Criteria

 

      Grades Determination

The course grade will be determined as follows:


Examinations (2)
50 %
Project/Paper (1) Group Presentation
40%
Class Participation
10%
Total
100 %

 

Grading Scale


Letter Grade
Percentage
A
90% or Above
B
80% to 89%
C
70% to 79 %
D
60% to 69%
F
59% or Below

 

Writing Resources

Please see the links below of examples of required writing

- Writing a persuasive essay:

- Writing a narrative essay:

- Writing an expository essay:

- Creating Presentations:

- Writing Blog Post effectively:

 

Project Descriptions
Projects assign will be a medium to express and deepen subject study in alternate ways.

 
Project List

The order and type of projects for course are outlined below

 

1.     Family Tree

2.     Presentation on the road to freedom and beyond (show the past, present, and your future hopes for the culture)


V.   Policies and Expectations

 

Late Assignments

Late assignments will only be accepted with prior approval from the instructor and for valid and verifiable reasons.

 

Extra Credit

No extra credit assignments will be provided for this course.

 

Exam Format

The format of all exams is open notes. The final exam will be returned to you.

 

 

Class Participation

Your participation is a vital component of the success of this class. You are expected to attend all classes and support your team by meeting on the specified days that team class time is allotted.

 


Makeup Exam Policy
Students are expected to take all exams when scheduled.  In the event of illness or extraordinary circumstances, the student must contact the faculty member and provide documentation to request an exception and approval to take a makeup exam.  If the request is not approved, the exam grade will be recorded as a zero.  Failure to register for a proctored exam is not an approved reason to request a makeup exam.